Georgia Secretary of State Kemp Issues Statement Following Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Decision to Bar Arizona’s Proof of Citizenship Requirement
Atlanta – Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp today issued the following statement addressing yesterday’s 2-1 decision by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that the State of Arizona’s proof of citizenship requirement for voter registration applicants violates the federal National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).
Secretary Kemp stated, “Requiring proof of United States citizenship is necessary to enable elections officials to assess the eligibility of voter registration applicants. It is unfortunate that two activist judges have undermined the right of an individual State to protect its voter rolls from election fraud. I am encouraged by the dissenting judge’s request that the matter be reconsidered by the entire Court of the Ninth Circuit.
“Though these two judges on the Ninth Circuit contend that Arizona’s proof of citizenship law, Proposition 200, violates the NVRA, we are confident that Georgia’s voter roll protections, and SB 86, which has not yet been submitted for preclearance, in fact complement the Act’s requirements. The stated goals of the NVRA include ensuring the accuracy of the registration rolls and protecting the integrity of the electoral process. The panel’s decision undermines this goal, and none of these purposes are served when individuals who are not citizens register and vote.
“Georgia’s efforts to protect the integrity of our voter rolls are part of our constant effort to prevent voter fraud, including voting by non-citizens. We know that non-citizens have voted in our elections in the past, and we must continue to implement common sense protections that keep those individuals from registering and voting in our elections. We will pursue every opportunity to protect Georgia’s proof of citizenship requirement and look forward to working with the next Attorney General to ensure that our voter rolls are secure.”
Brian Kemp was sworn in as Secretary of State in January 2010. Among the office’s wide-ranging responsibilities, the Secretary of State is charged with conducting efficient and secure elections, the registration of corporations, and the regulation of securities and professional license holders. The office also oversees the Georgia Archives and the Capitol Museum.